Another resounding "meh," but with enough stupid that I had to give it 1 star.
Followed by a "Why do I keep picking up books that I don't think I'll enjoy when the first in the series was so bad?" Which is then followed by a "well at least it was free from the library" defense.
This book picks up *right* at the end of Divergent, so if you do want to read it, you should go from one to the other. It had been a few months since I read Divergent, and since my memory sucks, I had to wiki the book to look up the character names so I could remember them
This book is very much the sequel to Divergent. It still has all of the same flaws (mainly weak/inconsistent characters, no world building), but at least it expands the story and gives some sort of motivation for the shenanigans that the Erudite and Dauntless leaders engage in? Of course, now we have the extra fun of dealing with the whole Tris/Four romance, which I rarely find enjoyable in a YA novel.
In fact, nearly the whole novel takes place in Tris's head. It would be annoying enough to have to listen to the voice of a 16 year old protagonist (I'm old, yo, get off my lawn), but having to listen to a badly written, inconsistent, 16 year old protagonist who has none of the characteristics you're repeatedly told she has is more than a little irritating.
There isn't a whole lot of action. A lot of important things are taking place off-stage while Tris is busy internally torturing herself in a spare room, dorm room, bathroom, or other random dark place.
The world building is still the dumbest part of the book. What little that's attempted makes no sense, like the author is just making it up as she goes along. Suddenly, the leaders have this amazing motivation for what they do, and that's key to the whole bookiverse, only it's kinda dumb.
It may be suffering from middle-bookitis (Dear young adult and/or SFF authors: not everything has to be a frickin' trilogy). So Roth has a beginning, and ending and then may just be making stuff up for the middle, I don't know, but it's weak and weird.
The only information we really get is that this is all some sort of social experiment where people willingly give up their lives and memories to become a society in the walled off city. They purposefully create these 5 clans with one specific trait and then the goal is to somehow breed a different kind of human, the "Divergent" that are more flexible, and then the city gates will be thrown open and the Divergent can venture out into the world to teach whatever to the violent population outside? What?
So you take a varied population, you make them into individual lines with single attributes so they can breed a more varied population? And then these *genetically produced* special people will help the world? By what? Breeding more special people with the awful people outside? Because if they can't "teach" the people outside, how will artificially selected human people suddenly be able to make it better using genetic traits? You can't convince me that it will be explained in the next book unless Roth trashes everything she's written so far and starts over, in which case it's not the same series. Ugh.
So yes. I'm pretty done with this series. Maybe I'm missing something. I'm probably just not the teenage demographic that will accept angst and romance no matter what is surrounding it. And maybe I'm a little too well read to accept some blind weaknesses in story telling, but clearly this series is not for me.